In this article, we’ll explore the connections between creativity and mindfulness and why they matter.
Creativity can bring us closer to our goals, show us our own true potential, and give us the means to be successful on our own.
And of course, if you get good enough, it can help you pull some inconvenient and elaborate gags on your friends; but that’s a story for another day…
Two important brain components of creativity are freestyle and control.
Think about a jazz musician; they apply freestyle by allowing their creative minds to improvise on the beat while exercising control to keep the music going in a certain direction.
Science suggests that a balance between these two neural networks is the key to the best creative results.
Practicing mindfulness is the key to maintaining this balance.
Mindfulness exercises have been shown to strengthen the freestyle and control centers of the brain.
But, more importantly, mindfulness also strengthens a third center called the salience network.
The salience network maintains a balance between freestyle and control by deciding which is activated and when.
So, mindfulness can make you more creative…why is that important?
According to a 2016 study out of New Zealand, engaging in creative activities contributes to an “upward spiral” of positive emotions, psychological well-being, and physical health.
Creativity can also reduce anxiety, lower, stress, and promote curiosity.
Curiosity is something that can also help fuel your creativity. If you want to learn more about that read this!
Creativity also predicts a longer life.
One popular study links creativity to a longer life, ranking it more important than other major personality traits.
The researchers found that only creativity — not intelligence or overall openness — decreased mortality risk.
“One possible reason creativity is protective of health is that it draws on a variety of neural networks within the brain,” says study author Nicholas Turiano.
“Individuals high in creativity maintain the integrity of their neural networks even into old age,” he adds.
If you don’t consider yourself a ‘creative person,’ don’t worry! You don’t need to have any talent whatsoever to benefit from creative activities.
Anything from doodling, to trying a new recipe, to mixing up a new drink can give you a healthy creative boost.
The link between creativity and mindfulness is another reason we recommend everyone incorporate a practice into their day-to-day lives.
Or, you could take our creative writing challenge here!